Articles tagged with: Wigmore Hall

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2016

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2016

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 216

L to R: Saffron van Zwanenberg, Leo Nicholson (Accomp Prize), Holly Marie Bingham (2nd Prize), Nardus Williams (1st & Audience Prizes), Rosemary Joshua, Sam Carl (3rd Prize), Joan Rodgers, Julian Jacobson

The winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2016:
First Prize
Nardus Williams, Soprano

Second Prize
Holly Marie Bingham, Mezzo-Soprano

Third Prize
Sam Carl, Bass

Accompanist Prize
Leo Nicholson

Audience Prize
Nardus Williams, Soprano

The judges, Rosemary Joshua, Joan Rodgers, Julian Jacobson and Saffron van Zwanenberg were delighted with the standard and commended all who took part.

All finalists were required to present a programme consisting of four items, two own choice items in addition to one song by each of the two set composers; Handel, of whose music Maureen Lehane was a renowned interpreter, and Peter Wishart, her late husband in whose memory the awards were started.

The 2016 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are possible because of the generous support from The Mercers’ Company, The Rosemary Budgen Charitable Trust, Cooper Hall Emerging Artists, Frome Voices and the Jackdaws Trustees.

 


 

Winner of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2016 - Nardus Williams, SopranoNardus Williams is a young soprano currently studying on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Yvonne Kenny, having previously studied with Lillian Watson and David Thomas. She is also mentored by Matthew Rose.

Recent performances include Messiah with the OSJ under John Lubbock at King’s Place and St John’s Smith Sqaure, Nitocris in Handel’s Belshazzar under Nicholas Kraemer, Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder with the Kingfisher Sinfonia, and a number of recitals at St John’s Smith Square during their 2015/16 season. She was also a member of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera 2016.

A Park Lane Group Artist since 2015, Nardus will be giving a recital at the Wigmore Hall next year. She is also a Samling Artist, and performed in their showcase at The Sage, Gateshead earlier in 2016.

In 2017 Nardus will be performing the role of Donna Elvira at Opera Holland Park as a Christine Collins Young Artist.

She is generously supported by The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers, and the Winship Foundation. Previous Scholarships include Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Help Musicians Maidment Scholarship and Helen Roll Charitable Trust.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2016: Finalists Announced

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2016: Finalists Announced

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Following two days of auditions on the 8th and 9th October, we present, with great excitement, the singers competing in the iconic Wigmore Hall at the finals of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2016:

David Ireland, Bass-Baritone accompanied by Ed Whitehead

Claire Barnett Jones, Mezzo-Soprano accompanied by Dylan Perez

Sung Kyu Choi, Baritone accompanied by Seungwon Lee

Nardus Williams, Soprano accompanied by Dylan Perez

Sam Carl, Bass accompanied by Leo Nicholson

Catriona Hewitson, Soprano accompanied by Paul McKenzie

Malachy Frame, Baritone accompanied by Liam Crangle

Holly Marie Bingham, Mezzo-Soprano accompanied by Kaoru Wada

The winner will be decided by the panel of four judges:
Rosemary Joshua
Joan Rodgers
Julian Jacobson
chaired by Saffron van Zwanenberg

All finalists are required to present a programme consisting of four items. There are two set composers; Handel, of whose music Maureen Lehane was a renowned interpreter, and Peter Wishart, her late husband in whose memory the awards were started.

The 2016 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are possible because of the generous support from The Mercers’ Company, The Rosemary Budgen Charitable Trust, Cooper Hall Emerging Artists, Frome Voices and the Jackdaws Trustees.

The final takes place on Friday 28 October at 1pm, Wigmore Hall. We hope to see you there.

2015 – Year in Review

Well, what a year 2015 was. Our Education work expanded our reach across to the far side of Somerset with OperaPLUS and in Year of Percussion with percussionist Joby Burgess, and our Piano courses we were voted second place in the Best Piano Courses in the UK in a survey by piano blog the Cross Eyed Pianist.

OperaPLUS

Music Teacher Awards for ExcellenceThe first major project of 2015 was April’s OperaPLUS production of ‘The Stylist of Somerset’ (also known as Rossini’s Barber of Seville). OperaPLUS brings together groups of aspiring young opera singers and primary school children who then work together under the guidance of Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg and Audrey Hyland (Royal Academy) to produce five performances at venues across Somerset. This year, the OperaPLUS project expanded to include over 100 children participating in each performance.

We are delighted that OperaPLUS has been nominated as ‘Best Classical Music Education Initiative’ in the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, sponsored by ClassicFM. Please vote for us! (And hurry – voting closes on Friday 22nd January!)

Year of Percussion

Jackdaws Year of Percussion with Joby BurgessJune saw the final performance of another of our large scale projects – Year of Percussion – which gave the opportunity to students from a dozen schools to take part in workshops under the leadership of internationally acclaimed percussionist, Joby Burgess. Their work culminated in a concert held at the Cheese & Grain in Frome, in which the children performed en mass together with Joby who introduced the sold out audience to an unusual array of percussion instruments during the show. This was the fourth year this project has run and which has now involved over 6000 children; we are looking forward to 2016, which continues our journey around the orchestra with ‘Year of the Reed’.

Summer Production

Summer ProductionOur attempts to involve as many young people as possible in a wide spectrum of music based activities continued in July with the ‘Summer Production’. Children between the ages of 10 and 17 spent a week working with Saffron, Will Carslake (music director) and designer Sarah Lawton in which the children chose to perform Macbeth in combination with music by and based on Mozart with design inspied by the work of contemporary American artist Kiki Smith. This is a largely participant driven event and the performance demonstrated the children’s creative skills in acting, music and the various elements of stage design. The final show took place at Frome’s unique Silk Mill on the Friday.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards: Winners & Judges outside the Wigmore Hall 2015Every November our focus moves from the schools of Somerset into London’s Wigmore Hall for the annual Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, the highlight of our Young Artist’s calendar. Following preliminary auditions, the final seven singers each sang an aria by Handel, a song by Peter Wishart and a piece of their own choosing for the Wigmore audience. Sadley, Oliver Johnston was forced to withdraw through ill-health on the day before the finals, so his place was taken by the first reserve singer, baritone Julien Mellaerts. Astonishingly, with such a short warning, Julien was able to produce the winning performance and walked away with the £2,000 first prize.

Roll on 2016!

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2015

Programme CoverThe 2015 presentation of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards was an exciting afternoon of music making. As always, the finalists presented recitals of the highest standard and were commended by the panel for the variety and diversity of their repertoire choices.

First prize went to Julien Van Mellaerts, who impressed the panel with his recital of Del minacciar del vento (Ottone) by Handel, Peter Wishart’s Henry and Mary, A Poison Tree by Britten and Mein sehnen, mein Wähnen by Korngold. It is especially impressive that Julien was a reserve place and only offered the opportunity to perform at 6pm on the evening before the final, when Oliver Johnston fell ill.

It was an exceptional year for the Vocal Awards, the finalists were all well prepared and offered really interesting programmes. The general standard was very high which made the adjudication challenging, but the panel were clear about which performances had stood out, most notable of which was Julien’s singing of Britten’s evocative A Poison Tree.Saffron van Zwanenberg, Chair of the Adjudication Panel

2015 is the 23rd anniversary of the Award, which is unique for the recognition of potential as much as achievement and has supported many extraordinary young singers at the start of their careers. This year’s prize winners join a succession of past winners including Amanda Echalaz, Christopher Maltman, Sarah Fox, Andrew Kennedy and Anna Devin.

The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are run annually by Jackdaws Music Education Trust for singers under the age of 30. The first Award was contested in the Somerset village of Great Elm, where Jackdaws is based, and participants were required to present a song by composer Peter Wishart, Maureen Lehane’s late husband, and an aria by Handel. Maureen was a celebrated Handelian singer and maintained that every singer should sing Handel at some point in their development. The same elements are required today in celebration of both Maureen and Peter’s legacy.

The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are generously supported by The Rosemary Bugden Charitable Trust, Cooper Hall (Emerging Artists), Geoffrey and Margaret Batten, Frome Voices and Jackdaws Trustees.

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2015
Maureen Lehane Winners and Judges 2015First Prize
Julien Van Mellaerts, Baritone (27)
Second Prize
Grace Durham, Mezzo-Soprano (27)
Third Prize
James Newby, Baritone (22)

Accompanist Prize
Edward Liddall (26) and Natalie Burch (23)
Audience Prize
James Newby, Baritone (22)

Maureen Lehane Vocal Award Finalists 2015

After two days of auditions on the 17th and 18th October, we present, with great excitement, the finalists of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2015:

Grace Durham, Mezzo-soprano (27)
accompanied by Edward Liddall (26)

Oliver Johnston, Tenor (26)
accompanied by Rebecca Taylor (29)

Heather Lowe, Mezzo-soprano (26)
accompanied by Jocelyn Freeman (29)

James Newby, Baritone (22)
accompanied by Panaretos Kyriatzidis (27)

Padraic Rowan, Bass-baritone (25)
using the Official Accompanist

Jenny Stafford, Soprano (27)
accompanied by Michael Waldron (28)

James Way, Tenor (23)
accompanied by Natalie Burch (23)

Wigmore Hall Bronze LogoThe winner will be decided by the panel of four judges:
Mary Plazas
Adrian Thompson
Phillip Thomas
Chaired by Saffron van Zwanenberg

All finalists are required to present a 15 minute programme consisting of four items. There are two set composers; Handel, of whose music Maureen Lehane was a renowned interpreter, and Peter Wishart, her late husband in whose memory the awards were started.

The final takes place on Thursday 12 November at 1:30pm, Wigmore Hall.

2014 – Year in Review

2014 – Year in Review

The year 2014 at Jackdaws was a continuation and building upon the successes of 2013.

We have grown the OperaPLUS, Year of Guitar, Jack’s Music Club and continued to build on the success of previous years of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, Gifted & Talented sessions, Summer Production and more. Read on…

OperaPLUS

OperaPLUS 2014The first major education project of our year took place between 28 April and 9 May. A team of Young Artists from various music colleges around the country worked with Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg and Music Director Audrey Hyland to put on two semi-staged performances of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. But, we are Jackdaws, and we like to do things a little differently…

Rossini’s reworked Stylist of Somerset was sung in English and involved no less than six schools over the two performances. The first performance, in Bridgwater, saw the Robert Blake Science College, Elmwood SEN and Penrose schools performing the chorus roles to a packed hall. This performance included an exciting depiction of a thunderstorm by the Elmwood pupils – an OperaPLUS first!

The second performance, at the Cheese & Grain in Frome, was to the largest audience ever for our OperaPLUS (we sold out, and then some!) Featuring Critchill SEN, St John’s and Hayesdown First schools, the Stylist of Somerset created a storm of its own, playing to audience who were happy to stand just to see it after the venue had sold out of chairs!

In 2015, The Stylist of Somerset will be hopping on a tour bus and performing a number of shows across region! This is a new adventure for the OperaPLUS project and Jackdaws as a whole. We are already hard at work to make sure it is a success; look out for the dates soon, we’d love you to join us.

Year of Guitar

Year of Guitar with Eden StellThe Year of Guitar followed from the hugely successful Year of the String Quartet with the Carducci in 2013 and precedes 2015’s Year of Percussion with Joby Burgess. Once again, every school in Frome took part with a record number of children participating.

On Friday 6 June, the massed ensemble of children from local schools with whom the Eden Stell Guitar Duo had worked met with the Duo again for a fantastic hour long performance at the Cheese & Grain. This year, Year of… was extended when we took a group of Frome College pupils to perform with Mark & Chris at the Sound Foundation Somerset Music Festival in Taunton on Sunday 13 July, and then again the next week at Later… with Frome College!

The Eden Stell Duo have been coming to Jackdaws to lead their annual Guitar weekend course since Jackdaws’ humble beginnings over 20 years ago. What a pleasure it was to celebrate their 25th anniversary with them in 2014 with this wonderful project. Heading into 2015, their course is an extra day longer than it has been before and has already sold out!

In 2015, the phenomenal Joby Burgess joins us for Year of Percussion and we are delighted to have already filled all the school places. For Year of Percussion, we are extending beyond Frome further into Somerset. More details will be released soon.

Jack’s and Theory Club

Jacks Music Club at JackdawsOur weekly music club has been running for a few years now but for the start of the 2014-15 academic year we added a new twist. Following from the 4:30-6pm music club is a new Theory club, led by Jackdaws team member Joshua Bishop. Each week he has covered a different aspect of music theory with the group using games, drawing and performing. We write music, we play music, we understand music.

If you’re amazed that teenagers would come of their own accord to a music theory club (on a Friday evening no less!), we are happy to reveal this top secret industry tip… provide cake from famous Jackdaws cooks!

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Maureen Lehane Vocal Award Winners 2014The 2014 Maureen Lehane Vocal Award was the most closely contested competition of recent years. Ultimately, 25 year old Counter Tenor Patrick Terry triumphed.

Patrick, originally from Minneapolis, is pursuing his Master’s at the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Chance and is the only Counter Tenor to have won the Maureen Lahane.

We were privileged to have a distinguished judging panel consisting of Dame Felicity Palmer, Andrew Shore and Simon Lepper, chaired by Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg.

Further to these successes, our Summer Production sold out both participants and the final performance, and produced a wonderful show of Animal Farm, with music in the style of Lutoslawski and design inspired by artist Gary Bunt. Our Christmas Concert sold out and was recorded with highlights broadcast on Christmas day by our friends at FromeFM. Gifted and Talented workshops also continued throughout the year, as did Singing Skills and Twilight Sessions.

After a restful holiday, we’re ready to go again. Roll on 2015 – we’ve got so much more to do!

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Winners 2014

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Winners 2014

On Friday 14 November, eight young finalists sang on the famous Wigmore Hall stage to compete for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award first prize of £2,500.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Award Winners 2014Winners at the 2014 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards
1st Prize
Patrick Terry, Counter Tenor (25)
2nd Prize
Henry Neill, Baritone (25)
3rd Prize
Timothy Nelson, Baritone (27)
Audience Prize
Henry Neill, Baritone
Accompanist’s Prize
Rebecca Taylor (28), playing for Patrick Terry

Patrick is the first Counter Tenor to have won at the awards. Each finalist was required to present a 15 minute programme consisting of works by each of the two set composers – Peter Wishart and Handel – as well as two own choice selections. Patrick’s accompanist, Rebecca Taylor, was awarded the Accompanist’s Prize.

Jackdaws Artistic Director, and chair of the Adjudication Panel, Saffron van Zwanenberg said:

It was a wonderful afternoon of singing and playing from all of the finalists. Having chaired the last five finals I believe this year candidates performed to the highest overall standard on the day that we have seen. The panel were in agreement that the standard of singing, presentation and programming was very high and it was a very challenging adjudication as a result. The criteria of judging potential as well as achievement had to be extended to include all facets of performing as well as vocal potential in order for a decision to be made. The panel were unanimous in their decision, naming counter-tenor Patrick Terry as the winner, “He made me want to listen to what he had to say” (Simon Lepper).

The winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Dame Felicity Palmer, Andrew Shore, Simon Lepper.

The awards form part of Jackdaws’ Young Artists Programme, one of the three main areas of Jackdaws’ work. The other two are our Weekend Courses for adult amateur musicians and Jackdaws Education, the outreach programme working with Somerset schools.

These awards would not have been possible without the help of certain individuals and organisations. Jackdaws wishes to thank The Rosemary Budgen Charitable Trust, Cooper Hall, Frome Voice, Geoffrey & Margaret Batten, the Jackdaws Trustees, Jessica Walker, Audrey Hyland, Ink Cap Designs and the Wigmore Hall for their own contributions to this year’s awards.

Maureen Lehane Finalists 2014

Maureen Lehane Finalists 2014

Following two days of preliminary auditions in London on the 25th and 26th October, the finalists of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2014 are…

wigmore-hallEuros Campbell, Baritone (26)
Accompanied by Susan Holmes (24)

Kate Howden, Mezzo-soprano (25)
Accompanied by Frederick Brown (25)

Claire Lees, Soprano (27)
Accompanied by Juliane Gallant (28)

Heather Lowe, Mezzo-soprano (25)
Official Accompanist – Richard Shaw

Angharad Lyddon, Contralto (26)
Accompanied by Finnegan Downie-Dear (24)

Henry Neill, Baritone (25)
Accompanied by Frederick Brown (25)

Timothy Nelson, Baritone (27)
Accompanied by Ian Tindale (24)

Patrick Terry, Counter Tenor (23)
Accompanied by Rebecca Taylor (28)

Music will of course include songs by Peter Wishart and arias by Handel, in addition to Schubert, Ireland, Wolf, Elgar, Fauré, Mahler, Schumann, Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Schoenberg.

The standard, once again, is exceedingly high. We are in for an exceptional afternoon of music making, with a balanced programme of four male and four female competitors presenting a range of voices.

Tickets are still available from the Wigmore Hall box office.

Success at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Success at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2013 Winners

Left to Right: Chad Vindin (Accomp Prize), Soraya Mafi (joint 3rd), Anna Sideris (joint 3rd), Raphaela Papadakis (Winner), Frazer B. Scott (2nd & Audience Prize)

Friday 8th November saw the eight finalists sing for their chance at the £2,500 first prize at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards in the Wigmore Hall. Each participant sang a programme of four pieces, consisting of arias by two set composers, G.F. Handel and Peter Wishart, and two own choice pieces.

These two set composers have always been a part of these awards since the inaugural competition in 1993; Maureen was known for her beautiful performances of Handel on stage, and Peter Wishart was her husband from 1966 until his early death in 1984.

The awards form part of Jackdaws’ Young Artists Programme along with the annual OperaPLUS.

The winners were decided by the distinguished panel of Judges – Dame Felicity Lott, Malcolm Martineau, Ian Partridge CBE and chaired by Jackdaws’ Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg.

Maureen Lehane Vocal AwardsMaureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2013 Winners
1st Place – Raphaela Papadakis (Soprano)
2nd Place – Frazer B. Scott (Bass-Baritone)
3rd Place – jointly awarded to Soraya Mafi (Soprano) and Anna Sideris (Soprano)
Accompanist Prize – Chad Vindin
Audience Prize – Frazer B. Scott

Have a look at our photo album from the event on Facebook.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Finalists Announced

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Finalists Announced

Maureen Lehane Vocal AwardsFollowing preliminary auditions held over the weekend of 18-20 October, eight finalists have been shortlisted out of applications from around the world to compete for the £2,500 first prize on Friday 8 November at 1pm.

Each finalist is required to sing a programme including works by Handel and Peter Wishart, in addition to a piece of their own choice, for a panel of distinguished judges – Malcolm Martineau, Dame Felicity Lott and Ian Partridge.

Organised annually by Jackdaws Music Education Trust, a Somerset based charity, the awards celebrated their 20th competition in 2012, whilst Jackdaws celebrate their own 20th anniversary this year, 2013. Unique in its recognition of potential as much as achievement, many previous winners of this award have progressed to highly successful singing careers. The panel is chaired by Jackdaws’ Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg, who said-

“It was genuinely a very high standard this year and in particular some of the Peter Wishart songs were sung the best I have heard them to date. I think we have some rare and exciting voices in the final and am very pleased that for the first time they will get to sing 4 pieces instead of 3, giving them even more of an opportunity to show what they can do.”

In addition to the First Prize of £2,500 there is a Second Prize of £1,000 and 3rd Prize of £500 (which is supported by local Somerset group Frome Voices). Jackdaws is very grateful to Penelope Davies for her support of the Awards for a third and final year. The best accompanist on the day will also be recognised with a prize of £1000, supported by Geoffrey and Margaret Batten, in memory of Peter Wishart. Finally, also decided on the day will be the Audience prize, voted for by the audience via ballot whilst the judges deliberate the overall winner. We are also very grateful to additional support this year from The Mercers Company.

The Finalists for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2013 are:

Ed Ballard

Annabella Ellis

Soraya Mafi

Raphaela Papadakis

Frazer Scott

Anna Sideris

Chloe Treharne

Jennifer Witton

Biographies for each finalist will be released at a later date.

The final is open to the public, and we warmly invite you to join us for what will surely be a wonderful afternoon of music making of the highest quality. This is the only way that you will be able to cast your vote in the Audience prize worth £250. Tickets are available from the Wigmore Hall.

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